Quantcast

Forced Carbonation Question

Aussie Home Brewer

Help Support Aussie Home Brewer:

Leyther

Well-Known Member
Joined
28/11/16
Messages
364
Reaction score
105
I'm about to do my first keg carbonation, I have read the FC article on here and lots of others on the web but I still am a little unclear on some aspects.

The guy I bought my kegs off (clever brewing) advised about trying to FC too fast with high pressure as he said it ruins the beer, I've also read similar posts elsewhere however lots of people obviously do this and the consequences mustn't be bad otherwise people wouldn't keep doing it. Anyway regardless I have decided not to go down this route, hence my question is around the slower option.

From research it appears most people run the kegs around 10-15PSI in general to pour their beer, hence if I just set my pressure to say 10PSI can I just leave it there and it will eventually carbonate the beer but also allow me to tap without any further intervention? I realise it will take longer to carb the beer, also is their some sort of saturation level with the beer where it stops carbonating? if not then is your beer constantly carbonating when your tapping it? and if so does it reach a point where you need to turn off the gas? sorry if these sound silly questions but I'm just a little unclear on the carbonation process.

My beer is an IPA and my keg is in the fridge so chilled, hence from various charts I think the ideal pressure for the beer is between 7-12PSI, at this pressure how long would it take to carbonate?
 

Lyrebird_Cycles

Well-Known Member
Joined
10/7/16
Messages
1,439
Reaction score
775
Yes there is a saturation level when it reaches equilibrium with the gas pressure at the temperature of the beer. You can calculate this or look it up in tables.
 

damoninja

Well-Known Member
Joined
9/9/13
Messages
1,379
Reaction score
316
You can do it fine, just need to be cautious. Better to back it off sooner and have an undercarbed beer for a few more days than to overcarb and have to mess about fixing it. I usually only fast carb 24hrs @ say 40 PSI and then finish at a lower pressure, maybe I'll give it 20 for another day but often I'll just back it off to ~14 and let it come along on its own.

Won't ruin the beer as such, you can fix it by letting the CO2 back out. Best to not let it get that way though :)

Currently have a wheat beer that I wanted to be quite carbonated, I let it go a bit under 2 days at 40 and it turned out how I wanted it, far too carby for your average ale however.

Did the shake method once, tasted like crap right after had to let it sit anyway.
 

hairydog

Well-Known Member
Joined
4/11/13
Messages
124
Reaction score
37
2 days at 30 PSI and 2 days at 20 works for me with IPA's then back to serving pressure and ready to go.
 

mstrelan

Well-Known Member
Joined
9/8/15
Messages
430
Reaction score
228
You *can* set it at 10-15 PSI and just leave it but personally I prefer the 30 PSI for 2-3 days method, or the one minute force carb method.
 

BKBrews

Well-Known Member
Joined
12/6/16
Messages
744
Reaction score
162
I dunno how that 30psi for 2 days is working for all of you, but I lost about a third of a keg to overcarbed foam from trying that after reading it on here. I no longer will go above 20psi for 2 days then straight back to 10psi serving pressure.
 

damoninja

Well-Known Member
Joined
9/9/13
Messages
1,379
Reaction score
316
BKBrews said:
I dunno how that 30psi for 2 days is working for all of you, but I lost about a third of a keg to overcarbed foam from trying that after reading it on here. I no longer will go above 20psi for 2 days then straight back to 10psi serving pressure.
Mixed bag, I've had some beers carbonate in 2 days just fine some go overboard.

As I mentioned, I start high, ease it off sooner rather than later, then back it off when it's still under what I want...
 

vittorio

Well-Known Member
Joined
21/5/13
Messages
245
Reaction score
38
No beer should be carb less than 4 days.. 1/1half bars should be ideal
 

peteru

Here, taste this!
Joined
13/10/13
Messages
1,154
Reaction score
517
Location
Sydney
Get yourself a carbonation lid with a diffuser stone. Attach lid, connect gas and set to serving pressure. Leave gas connected as the keg cools. Once the keg cools down, to serving temperature, it will be carbonated properly. At that stage, disconnect gas from the diffuser connection and connect to normal gas post. The last part is important to prevent beer being pushed back up the gas line due to changes in pressure.

 

pcqypcqy

Well-Known Member
Joined
23/5/15
Messages
873
Reaction score
393
At serving pressure it should be settled down by 2 weeks.

If you can't wait this long (impatient, or got a gap in your keg schedule), you can try the methods above, but everyone has their own way and some rate it and some don't.

Some say a slower or even natural carbonation (using sugar) gives different textures/results. I tend to agree, noting that quick forced carb beers have bigger bubbles than slower or naturally carbed ones. My palate isn't good enough to taste any different though so it doesn't bother me.

Now I'm using a kegmenter my beers are already just under 2 volumes when I keg, so I now just set to pouring pressure and start drinking, letting them carb up as I get through the keg.
 

Bones99

Active Member
Joined
10/2/16
Messages
41
Reaction score
27
I FC a couple of my kegs and definitely overcarbed at least one of them so I don't FC anymore.

I simply attach to my Kegerator at serving pressure (10-12 psi) and let carb over the course of the next week.
Easy and seems to work for me.
 

Danscraftbeer

Well-Known Member
Joined
1/4/15
Messages
2,670
Reaction score
1,002
Location
Victoria
Coodgee said:
and what is the reasoning behind this statement?
My 2cents I think its because shaking beer is never a good method. As the old saying goes beer doesn't travel well as in rough transporting can spoil beer. The head space in bottles can hold enough oxygen to spoil a beer if its shaken around. If they are never shaken then the layer of co2 sits on top of the beer then its fine, unless disturbed a lot etc.
If the keg isn't completely purged with co2 and has even a little bit of oxygen in there then the oxygen can induce off flavours when shaken mixed into the beer.
As some previous posters mentioned I also kegment/pressure ferment and the beer finished naturally carbed and its the best results I've got so far but as for forced carbonation the best is patience. Connect it to serving pressure (~11 psi) for a week. You can cheat and lessen that to say 4 days by cranking up the pressure but nothing can speed up the improvements of time conditioning anyway, so back to the patience again.

I will say that pressure fermenting and finishing the beer naturally carbed is the real significant time saver. Grain to brain and cleared naturally without finings in 4 weeks has you double checking your dated records just to believe its really that quick.
With help I have had kegs emptied by the time they get to 4 weeks old.
 

Rocker1986

Well-Known Member
Joined
28/4/12
Messages
2,547
Reaction score
1,070
Location
Brisbane, QLD
I don't use the shaking method anymore, I pretty much do what damoninja does. ~40 PSI for around 20-24 hours, remove gas lines from kegs and let settle for 6-8 hours (or more), then bleed any remaining pressure, re-connect gas lines at serving pressure and away we go. They're usually just under where I want them but they only take another day or two to come up. My kegs go in at room temp and the fridge sits around 0 degrees (sounds ridiculous but I have my reasons), which is why I give them that time to settle and absorb the gas better after removing the lines.

Much easier than having to deal with over carbed kegs, and I don't have to wait a week or two for them to carbonate either.

It should also be noted that regardless of the pressure you use, if you are carbonating the beer via a CO2 cylinder then you are force carbonating. It's just the lower the pressure, the longer it takes. ;)
 

Danscraftbeer

Well-Known Member
Joined
1/4/15
Messages
2,670
Reaction score
1,002
Location
Victoria
Yep, and without backtracking the thread I will stress that over carbonation, then trying to decarbonise to correct it has now been tainted with co2 and is an off flavour.
Just like tasting decarbonated soda water still tastes like soda water without the bubbles. The carbon flavour stays even when the fizz has gone. Then if you carbed it up more then you get a double carbon flavour? I'm not sure how it goes but.
Basically IMO over carbonating is a fault in flavour that cant be undone. Avoid it. Don't be hasty.

Maybe that's why I remember Beer enthusiasts beyond my level will be more accepting to lower carbonation over higher carbonation.
I think? My understanding is that carbon flavour is in competition to all the yummier flavours of beer.
 

Rocker1986

Well-Known Member
Joined
28/4/12
Messages
2,547
Reaction score
1,070
Location
Brisbane, QLD
Commercially made soda water also contains potassium bicarbonate or sulphate so that's probably part of the reason for the flavour of it. I have noticed when I've filled up a keg with normal tap water and carbonated it, that it tastes better than commercial soda water i.e. doesn't have that weird flavour of the commercial stuff.
 

Tahoose

Well-Known Member
Joined
22/9/13
Messages
1,455
Reaction score
498
Best method for me is low and slow. I find that it gives the beer time to condition.

Process in my house is ferment/dry hop normally 2 weeks. Keg, into the keezer and hook up to CO2. Leave for 3 weeks.

I can do it quicker and have done a fair few times but this works best for me. Same when I bottle condition, don't open one until 3 weeks.
 

Danscraftbeer

Well-Known Member
Joined
1/4/15
Messages
2,670
Reaction score
1,002
Location
Victoria
Rocker1986 said:
Commercially made soda water also contains potassium bicarbonate or sulphate so that's probably part of the reason for the flavour of it. I have noticed when I've filled up a keg with normal tap water and carbonated it, that it tastes better than commercial soda water i.e. doesn't have that weird flavour of the commercial stuff.
I don't drink the commercial stuff but I will taste test it compared to my own. I make my own Soda Water on tap in an 11lt keg filled with filtered Melbourne water, no additives. Chilled and connected to ~12 psi.
Home made is always better in everything I feel. I know what's in it. So to geek out on about flavour comparisons I've done that.
Do it yourselves any flavour curious brewers. Carbonation has a flavour that is a powerful flavour so its an easy one to identify.
 

Rocker1986

Well-Known Member
Joined
28/4/12
Messages
2,547
Reaction score
1,070
Location
Brisbane, QLD
I'll have to have a taste of my soda water when the keg goes on tap when one of these beer kegs runs out. It definitely has a bite to it; and it tends to offset sweetness. I'm guessing it's the carbonic acid doing that. That's why flat coke tastes sweeter than fizzy coke and I find the same thing with beer, they always taste sweeter when they're flat or undercarbonated too much but when they're at the desired level they're perfect.
 
Top